Hordes of little goblins and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers roaming the streets on Halloween might not
scare you, but pets often find these strange sights a frightening experience, says The Humane Society of the United States
"Keep your pets safely inside," advises Martha Armstrong, HSUS vice president of companion animals.
"Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and are liable to become frightened or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds
of trick-or-treaters. And avoid the temptation to dress up your dog and send him trick-or-treating with the kids."
Instead, Armstrong suggests secluding your pets in a quiet room away from the Halloween activities.
This will ensure that your pets won't panic and escape when bell-ringing trick-or-treaters arrive, nor will they become threatened
or aggressive at the sight of costumed, little people.
Halloween poses some other real dangers for pets, says Armstrong. Sadly, during Halloween, pets are
often the victims of pranksters' cruel tricks. Not quite so sinister, but, dangerous nonetheless, is candy, especially chocolate,
which can be harmful, even fatal to pets. Secure all candy safely away from pets.
Restrict your pet's access to jack o'lanterns and candles, for their sake and yours. Decorations with
live flames are obvious hazards, but cats can also get tangled in streamers. And dogs -- who have a proclivity to chew just
about anything -- can become ill from eating holiday decorations.
Finally, some humane organizations fear that certain pets, primarily black cats, are at risk of becoming
unwilling participants in the darker side of Halloween activities, and elect to halt adoptions of these animals until after
the holiday. For safety reasons, Armstrong urges owners of all pets, particularly owners of black cats, to keep an especially
close eye on their pets around Halloween.